NEWTON — Symphonic rock pioneers Renaissance return to The Newton Theatre on Friday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m..
Renaissance’s Songs For All Our Times winter tour will feature masterpieces Song for All Seasons, Northern Lights, Sounds of the Sea, and debuting new material from their recent album Symphony of Light, plus favorite classics.
Renaissance is a band with a rich history unique unto themselves as progressive rock pioneers who rose from the ashes of the seminal UK rock band, The Yardbirds. Their career has spanned 40-plus years, spearheaded by the five-octave voice of Annie Haslam and the masterful songwriting skills of Michael Dunford. The band also featured John Tout on piano, Jon Camp on bass and Terry Sullivan on drums, who all further molded the sound of the band through the powerful technical command of their instruments. They were first acknowledged for uniquely blending progressive rock with classical influences and symphonic arrangements.
They are widely considered to be the band that most successfully and routinely utilized the sound of a full orchestra in their recordings. It wasn’t long before influential progressive rock stations in the US, such as WNEW, WMMR, and WHFS (Washington), were turning on America to Renaissance. Before too long the band started thrilling concertgoers on the world’s most distinguished stages, from Carnegie Hall in NYC with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to the Royal Albert Hall in London with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Chorale Society. In 1978, they had a top 10 hit in the UK with Northern Lights, which has become a classic radio favorite, still demanding regular airplay to this day.
The band disbanded in the late 1980s at which time Annie Haslam launched a solo career. In 2009, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original founding of Renaissance, Michael and Annie formed a new touring band.
Recently they toured North America, Canada, Japan, S. Korea and in April 2015 had a triumphant tour of Europe. They produced their first album in 13 years entitled "Symphony of Light". Michael Dunford died prematurely in 2012 and the album is a testament to the unforgettable melodies that infused his work. The album starts off with powerful lyrics by Annie Haslam in the title track about the life of Leonardo da Vinci, followed by Waterfall, a song written about the rainforests in Brazil. All the songs bathe the listener in flavors from far off countries, with lush orchestral arrangements and unusual lyrical content, with guest appearances from Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and John Wetton (Asia/King Crimson/UK).
The current line-up of Renaissance includes lead vocalist Annie Haslam, Rave Tesar (keyboards), Leo Traversa (bass guitar), Tom Brislin (keyboards), Frank Pagano (drums) and Mark Lambert (acoustic guitars).
Tickets for Renaissance range from $37.00 to $67.00. Purchase tickets by visiting www.thenewtontheatre.com or contact the box office at 973-383-3700.